Two people died and 13 others were hospitalized in Tokyo on Monday after choking on mochi, glutinous rice cakes which are a popular food during the New Year holidays.
According to the Tokyo Fire Department, a man in his 50s from Ota Ward went into cardiac arrest after choking on mochi and was confirmed dead at a nearby hospital, Fuji TV reported. Another man in his 80s, who resided in Edogawa Ward, also fatally choked on the rice cake. Fire department officials said the 13 hospitalized people ranged in age between 55 and 90.
Every year, prior to the New Year holidays, the Tokyo Fire Department advises the public to cut the mochi into bite-size pieces and slowly chew the notoriously sticky food before swallowing.
The department has a website advising people what to do if they see someone choking on mochi.© Japan Today